Sunday, November 30, 2008

On churches

At church today, Church of the Restoration UU, to be more precise, there were not many people at the Sunday morning service. The Music CareRing did not meet this morning. Not counting the visitors from the speaker’s church, I would guess we had no more than ten in attendance. The church is going through hard times and may not survive. Should it fold, I will be without a church to attend.

Today was a day without the minister. In the pulpit was Rev. Ron Robinson. His message was titled “Advent, A Third Place, LivingRoomChurch.” (No spaces between those last three words.) Ron is a community organizer in North Tulsa. Everyone who works for the church has outside incomes to support themselves. His church is located in the worst part of Tulsa. It’s in the skid row part of town. His church is part of the Christian faction within UUs.

I had no other meetings today. Jan brought Luke and Alya home from the Methodist Church, and they spent the afternoon with us.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

The Secular Singers

This picture was taken at Gail's house this afternoon. There were seven of us getting ready for our annual HumanLight celebration which will take place at Randy's later this month. Shown in this photo are (L to R): Dan, Randy, Steven, Gail, Marilyn, Bea, and Ray.

Black Friday and Good Friday

We made a trip to Springfield, Mo. on Tuesday to visit my parents and my sister, Paula. We noticed that additional apartments were being built at The Abbey. When the apartment complex is finished it will be in the shape (more or less) of a circle. I did not take my GPS receiver or any geocaching sheets since we just stayed overnight and returned home the next day. Traffic was not bad traveling to Springfield, but it was heavier coming home.

While in Springfield we ate first at the Golden Corral, and for lunch we ate at Red Lobster. A breakfast was provided at the Arbor Suites where we stayed.

Today was Black Friday – the day when merchants sell enough to go “into the black” on their ledgers. It is supposed to be the biggest shopping day of the year. This is not to be confused with Good Friday, the Christian holiday. It strikes me that the two names should be reversed. Black Friday should be the day when Jesus was crucified, and Good Friday should be the day when merchants reap large sales.

I usually stay in on Black Friday, but today I wanted to order some “business” cards for TAM. We made a trip to Office Depot where I ordered a thousand cards. On the way home we stopped at McDonald’s, and I used another of my Free Big Mac cards. Then we went to Books-A-Million in the same shopping center. The bookstore just recently opened at the new Tulsa Hills shopping area. We spent well over an hour looking at the books there. Jan bought a few books for the grandchildren.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

God's Problem

It has been about a week since I have last posted anything on this blog. Sometimes I get so busy with activities that I neglect to keep this record of my activities updated.

We had a Food & Fellowship last Saturday at a place that used to be a Rib Crib. On the way to the Rib Crib, Jan received a call from Marilyn who was already at the location. She said it was no longer a Rib Crib, but was now some kind of diner. Eight of us found the location. One member drove around looking for the Rib Crib and not finding it went back home. Anyway, eight of us found the diner and went inside to have a meal together.

Sunday morning I went to church. There was once again a small crowd, maybe 15 at the most. During the candle lighting part of the service, one member got up and lit a candle for each of the missing members. The split in the church weighs heavily on the hearts of the remaining members. The split occurred during the time I was away recuperating from my hospitalization. The special music on this day was provided by Gayle Williamson. The Music CareRing did not meet.

Today Gail came over and we played some duets. We have two gigs coming up. First, we have the HAT Movie Night at which we will play “I Saw Three Ships” and “Silent Night.” In a couple of weeks, we will be the special music at Church of the Restoration. There we will play two pieces for piano duet by Melody Bober: “Sedona Sun” and “Majestic Grand Canyon.”

This evening we attended the community Thanksgiving service which was held at Broadway Baptist Church in Sand Springs.

I have been reading a book which came out earlier this year by Bart Ehrman. The title is God’s Problem: How the Bible Fails to Answer Our Most Important Question – Why We Suffer. I don’t understand how any thinking person with empathy could read just the first chapter of this book and continue to call himself or herself a Christian. If anyone reading this is a Christian, please read the first chapter of Ehrman’s book and let me know how you respond.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


I wrote a letter to Nancy Pelosi last night at the Liberal Action Network meetup. I urged her to investigate the corruption of the Bush years in the White House. I would have hoped others would have joined me in this cause, but unfortunately, no one else showed up. I sat at a table in the east part of the library, and putting pen to paper, wrote my letter.

I arrived about a quarter to seven and departed about a quarter after eight. After I finished writing my letter, I browsed the stacks. I checked out eight books (mostly music books), so I did not come home empty-handed.

While there I talked to a librarian who used to work at Pratt Library – Becky. I had not seen her in quite a while. We chatted a while, and I got caught up on her family happenings.

Monday, November 17, 2008

A cold walk

Last Friday, Jan and I ate at Cracker Barrel. I had won a drawing sponsored by the walking club and the prize was a $25 gift card to Cracker Barrel. We had a nice meal, and with the remaining money I got some chocolate covered peanuts.

The next morning, we did the November volkswalk at Turkey Mountain. It was COLD. The temperature was in the upper thirties. To make things worse, the wind was blowing about 20 MPH, with occasional gusts of 30 MPH. After the walk, we went to McDonald’s, where I used a gift card for a free Big Mac. We had picked up our son before we went on the walk. He and Ayla went with us. Nick is a vegetarian and could not make use of a card for a Big Mac.

Next morning, Sunday, the Music CareRing was in charge of the service at Church of the Restoration. Gayle brought his flute and we all made music for about an hour. I played piano and Ken played guitar.

That afternoon we had the November HAT meeting. Barbara, who had been at Restoration, rode with me to the Hardesty Library. We had 14 people at the meeting. (Details will be posted on the HAT blog.) Afterwards, I took Barbara back to her apartment. She lives on the twentieth floor of University Towers. I had left my jacket there the night of the election. Once again, I got a good view of Tulsa. The downtown was to my right; the river to my left.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Blood donation

Yesterday, I got a haircut at Roary’s. Afterwards, I went to TCC West to walk. I noticed that the Red Cross van was parked outside. When I went indoors, I saw that a blood drive was going on. Since I had not donated blood since my surgeries in January 2007, I decided to make a donation. It took about an hour and a half to go through the entire process. After sitting in the “canteen” for ten minutes, drinking orange juice and eating cookies, I moved to the fitness center and walked two miles. I came home and watched news, showered, and went to drumming at Joe Price’s.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Minister plays the sax

Attendance at church today was 15 to 20. There was a lot of joy among the “parishioners” with the outcome of the presidential election. A group of members pooled their money and bought Gerald (the minister) a saxophone, which he played today. It had been a number of years since Gerald had played the sax, but he sounded pretty good on it today.

For the special selection today, I played piano and Ken played guitar. Gwen sang “What a Difference a Day Made.” Was this a reference to the recent presidential election?

After church I gave Barbara a ride to her apartment. Her daughter had driven her to church. From there I went on over to Randy’s. At Randy’s, we listened to a Point of Inquiry broadcast. You can hear POI episodes at

When we left Randy’s, Bob, Marilyn and I met at Panera Bread for a discussion of people who might fill the vacancies in TAM for next year. We came up with a few names of people we felt might be good officers.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Activities 5-8 November

On Wednesday evening, I went to drumming at the Prices. It was just Joe, Lou, and myself. This was my first time to attend drumming since Oct. 8. I told of my trip to Mountain View, Ark., including the mountain music and geocaching.

On Thursday evening, I attended session 8 of “Reading Shakespeare Aloud.” It seems each week the workshop is attended by fewer people than the week before. All of the men have dropped out except for myself. We read five scenes from various Shakespeare plays this night. Next Thursday will be the final night for the workshop.

On Friday, Jan went to Dr. Coggins for a routine check-up That evening we watch our favorite TV shows: NOW with David Brancaccio and Bill Moyers Journal.

Today I went to the BOk office in the Food Pyramid store on Peoria. I met Bob there and we transferred the TAM treasury into his name. Marilyn was also there. Marilyn and I will serve as second signatures on checks written from the account. Following this, we went to the Schusterman-Benson Library for the Nation magazine discussion group. Attending were Marilyn, Jan, the two Larrys and myself.

This week I have been building a database of sheet music I have. After typing in the titles from 11 books, I have reached 1,359 titles.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Watch party

On Monday, Gail came over and we practiced piano duets for almost two hours. Then in the evening, Nick came over and we played duets for about an hour. I got in about three hours of piano that day.

On Tuesday, I drove Jan to her eye doctor, an ophthalmologist, whose office is near Hillcrest Hospital. When she came out, her eyes were dilated and she had to wear shades for the rest of the day. This evening, we went to Barbara’s apartment to watch the election returns. Barbara is 83 years old and is an old-time liberal. She still remembers FDR and speaks of him fondly. She was so glad Obama won the presidency. She felt an enormous relief to learn that Obama won.

Each of us brought some food to the watch party. Besides Jan and myself, there was also Barbara’s daughter Lori, Randy and Dawn, and Marilyn, and Barbara’s next-door neighbor. Barbara lives in a high-rise apartment building on the 20th floor. There is a great view of downtown Tulsa and the Arkansas River from her balcony.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Better Late Than Never

I don't too often check my blog at Liberal Action Network, but tonight I noticed a comment had been posted there. The poster had wanted to post it under my personal blog, but could not do so. Therefore, I am posting the comment below:

To Dan Nerren,Sorry to post this comment on the wrong blog, but I could not find any place to comment on your "Dan Nerren" blog. I just wanted to let you know that in your post about your visit to Siloam Springs, you wrongly described JBU as affiliated with the Church of Christ. In truth, JBU is not affiliated with any denomination, but is an interdenominational Christian school. Always has been since its founding in 1919. I know, I work there. Would you please make a correction to your blog post so as not to confuse your readers? Thank you for your consideration.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Day of the Dead

This Saturday I met with Kenny Nipp at The Hideaway Pizza Parlor at 3pm. We talked about current affairs in TAM while we each ate a Cobb salad.

That evening we went to Randy and Dawn’s for Movie Night. Gail was away so we skipped with the piano playing and went directly to the movie. We watched Silver City.

Today I went to Church of the Restoration UU. I got there around 9:30 am and played piano while Ken and Gwen sang. We played several songs and decided upon “Unforgettable” as the special music for the service. The theme of today’s service was “Day of the Dead,” a celebration of Mexican origin. We decided that “Unforgettable” was an appropriate piece for this service. Those taking part in the service brought with them photos of deceased relatives and got up and spoke about their departed loved ones.

Then this afternoon, I attended a TAM meetup in which we discussed some problems we have been having and how to resolve them. The meeting lasted two and a half hours and went well.

November Freethought Schedule

November 2008
Activities of Interest to Freethinkers

Sat., Nov. 1, 7:00pm Movie Night at the Bradleys, 6705 E. 54th St.
Movie selection: TBA

Sat., Nov. 8, 2:00 pm Secular Singers, meet at Gail’s house, 4630 S. Victor Ave.

Sun., Nov. 9, 1:00pm Humanist Study Group at the Bradleys, 6705 E. 54th.
We will listen to and discuss a Point of Inquiry podcast.

Tues., Nov. 11, 7:00 pm Liberal Action Network at Agora Coffee House, Fontana Center.

Sat., Nov. 15, 7:00 pm Atheists Meetup Mid-Month Social Gathering. Venue TBA

Sun., Nov. 16, 1:00pm HAT monthly membership meeting at Hardesty Library.

Sat., Nov. 22, 11:30am Food & Fellowship at The Rib Crib, 6902 S. Lewis.

Sun., Nov. 23, 1:00pm Atheists Meetup at Agora Coffee House, Fontana Center.

Questions? Call Randy at 622-6975 or Dan at 798-3629.